Top 10 Tangible Time Management Tips

Posted by on May 21st, 2012

After working for almost nine months in “the real world,” I’ve started picking up a few things about productivity, efficiency and organization.  While I always thought I had a good grasp of these concepts, working in an office for 8+ hours a day, five days a week gives you a slightly different perspective.  There’s no midterms to study for, no papers to write and, unless a client is asking for something at a specific time, there’s no set “due date.”

So, in no particular order, I present to you my top ten tangible time management tips for investor relations account executives:

  1. Do the dirty work – Take the extra time to learn about your target before pitching them.  Once you get that target on the line, you don’t want to let a good lead go because you weren’t prepared.  Not only will this lead to greater success, but the time you save by not making the extra calls or sending the extra emails will be well worth it.
  2. Put your phone away – Phones, music or even other co-workers may be distracting to you during the work day.  Do as much as you can to control the environment around you so that you can be as productive as possible throughout the day.
  3. Listen to the experts – While some of these top executives have  great ideas on time management, they are functioning at a different level than the normal account executive. You don’t need to apply everything that everyone says to you, but it is important to listen, evaluate and determine for yourself if the information can be useful.  Finding the best practices for how you write releases or target investors will save you time in the long run.
  4. Be bold – No one ever advanced in the workplace by just being OK.  Be creative, think outside the box and add value to whatever project, press release or presentation you are working on.  While this may actually add time, this type of effort is certainly noticed and appreciated by those around you.
  5. Take the initiative – Develop a forward-looking approach.  Look ahead to see what each client has going on.  It looks good when your boss asks you to get something prepared and you can tell them it’s already ready to go…saves time too.
  6. Find a routine – Read the paper in the morning.  Drink a cup of coffee.  Eat a healthy breakfast.  While this may be more general advice (and I may be leading you down a path of caffeine addiction like this person), I have found this routine suits me well, prepares me for the day and keeps me on track with the day’s events.
  7. Do the little things – When you’re not as busy, do the little things that you may not want to, like general account maintenance, organizing your desktop or preparing the next release.  It certainly helps when you are busy and don’t have the time to do the little things.
  8. Get to the point – Investors, analysts, bosses and even colleagues  don’t have time to discuss fluff.  Whether it’s pitching or general communication, get straight to the point and focus on the central ideas.  Why use a paragraph when a few words would suffice?
  9. Keep a “to do” list – Whether it’s handwritten, on your computer or printed and posted on your wall, having tangible tasks not only keeps you on track, but helps make sure you don’t miss anything big.  Crossing an item off the list also gives you a great feeling of satisfaction.
  10. Reach out to others – Don’t be shy or afraid to ask questions…that’s part of the job.  What other tips do you have on time management? Let me know through my Twitter or LinkedIn.